As rightly noted by Dr. William Sayers, in his article "The Etymology of Strawberry" (Moderna språk 2009:2, pp. 15-17), all of these hypotheses are most definitely incorrect. This is due to the fact that the use of the term "strawberry" pre-dates
So, from a simple appeal to timing, it is clear that each traditionally-accepted origin of the word strawberry is incorrect.
Dr. Sayers offers the following, on page 17: "The most plausible origin for strawberry in its earliest reference to the Woodland Strawberry is as a name for plants growing at ground level (like straw spread as litter) irregularly distributed as the result of the spread of achenes by birds and animals--two interrelated senses of being strewn."
Now consider, too, that farm animals were allowed to graze in fields. In these fields, they not only ate grass, but anything else that they might come across, including wild strawberries.
With these things in mind, one can imagine that the animals' manure occasionally contained strawberry seeds, and that when farmers found strawberry plants sprouting up from amongst their animals' straw (and manure), they easily assumed that the plants formed from the straw. Hence a "straw"-berry plant would have simply been a plant that spontaneously generated from straw.
And even when the plant was sometimes found in the wild in the absence of straw, it may have been assumed that straw had been there previously, but that either all of the straw had converted to strawberry plants, or that any remaining straw had simply blown away.
It is unlikely that anyone will ever have a completely convincing explanation for how the English name for our favorite fruit came to be.
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